Comics Lowdown | Paul Rainey wins Jonathan Cape Prize

Plus: New manga licenses, minicomics reviews, and more!

Paul Rainey has won the 2020 Observer Jonathan Cape Comica Graphic Short Story Prize for his story Similar To But Not, a memoir of a chance encounter with a celebrity in a local pub in 1975. Rainey’s story and the runner-up, Ellen Durkin’s The Worm, are both available to read online.

In other awards news, Australian creator Glenn Lumsden has won his country’s Stanley Award for the second time.

Interviews

Jonathan Hill talks about his graphic novel Odessa, which is set in the Pacific Northwest following a devastating earthquake and follows a young woman as she searches for her missing mother.

Willamette Week interviews Shannon Wheeler about his most recent project, the graphic adaptation of the Mueller Report, and the one he’s working on now, a comic about COVID-19 for children.

Philippe Girard wanted to do a graphic novel about Leonard Cohen for years but figured someone else would beat him to it. Eventually he realized no one would, so he created Leonard Cohen on a Wire, to be published in Belgium next March and by Drawn and Quarterly in November 2021.

The Biz

Seven Seas, which just announced a new light novel imprint, Airship, unveiled seven new novel and three new manga licenses yesterday.

Digital Manga also announced two intriguing licenses, The Day I Married God and The Day I Divorced God, to be published in January 2021.

Savanna Ganucheau will adapt Jennifer Holm’s middle-grade novel Turtle in Paradise into a graphic novel, to be published by RH Graphic next May.

Florida-based indy graphic novel publisher Mad Cave Studios will launch a YA imprint, Maverick, next year.

Not comics, but comics-adjacent: ICv2 reports that Twogether Studios will not sell its card game The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance on Amazon over the holidays, as a gesture to support independent retailers.

Meanwhile, in Dubuque, Iowa, Ben Snyder, owner of Comic World and Games, explains what he is doing to stay in business during the pandemic.

Reviews and Commentary

At The Beat, John Seven reviews Michel Rabagliati’s Paul at Home, which departs sharply in tone from Rabagliati’s other Paul books.

Andy Oliver has two interesting reviews up at Broken Frontier, of the Norwegian creator Jens K Styve’s Dunce: Brego, a humor comic starring his dog, and Dominique Duong’s The Dog and the Cat, a queer Asian romance that’s inspired by the Chinese zodiac.

At Graphic Novel Resources, Stergios Botzakis reviews Marge’s Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi, the latest in Drawn and Quarterly’s archives of that classic comic.

The best-of-the-year lists are rolling in. In The Guardian, James Smart picks an eclectic mix of graphic novels, including Joe Sacco’s Paying the Land, Walter Scott’s Wendy, Master of Art, and a couple of British titles that look interesting. At Book Riot, Katie Moench lists 10 middle-grade graphic novels that would make great gifts.

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